Achik Folk Songs: An Intangible Heritage Need to Explore!
Ruel C. Sangma
There are many types of folk songs such as Gogaedoka, Koredoka or Korebima, Gosaidoka or Gosairing·a, Gondadoka, Rerering·a, Geloring·a, Gelodoka, Damikring·a, Ahaia, Serejing, Arawaka, Harararing·a, Nangorere, etc. There maybe many kind folk songs which is needed to be explored.
It is a song for all happy occasions, and the verses are sung alternately by young men and women individually or in a chorus. It is basically a love song that can be sung by anyone on any happy occasion. Although this song is romantic in nature, it also reflects the culture and tradition.
According to Julius L.R. Marak, Gonda Doka was started in the year 1922-23. The theme of this song is on man and nature. The verses maybe sung alternately by young men and women. In every stanza of Gonda Doka, the first line is sung about nature and the following lines are on human deeds.
It may be sung solo or in chorus. Various aspects of A·chik customary life form the theme of Gogaia Gosaia. Of the modern folksongs, mention may be made of the following:
Serejing is a heroine whose opposite character is known as Waljan. They are traditional pairs around whom many romantic songs are composed and drama staged, the dialogue in the drama being through songs. Serejing is popular with the A·chik young men and women. Initially the main theme of Serejing Ring·a was the flora and fauna, the streams, rivers and hills.
She is also a heroine and an ideal Garo girl around whom songs are composed of rhythmic sentences.
This song is of recent origin and is started by about the 20th century by Mrs. Florence W. Momin. This is the first Garo song that has been recorded in the gramophone and it becomes endless as the singer can go on composing as he sings.
It is a song for any occasion and it has a lively and a catchy tune. It is sung in the Chisak area of Garo Hills.
Another indigenous romantic song called Rere Ring·a is sung by the three divisions of the A·chiks –the Ruga, the Dual and the Chibok. It is a song sung on joyous occasions by young men and women.
This song is sung only in the Gara-Ganching area. The theme of this song is usually that of heroes and heroines like Jingjang, Nongdu A·ding Pante, Gangga and Rutha. It is a traditional song sung responsively by young men and women and it can be sung anywhere.
This song is mainly sung in the Atong area of Garo Hills. It is sung after the post-funeral ceremony or Mangona. It is also known as Chugan by the Atongs. In ‘The Traditional Dances of the Garos’ written by Dewansing Rongmitu, the author says that the genuine Garo folk songs, as handed down by tradition, are soul-stirring songs, full of romance, full of beauty and pathos, full of sentiments of love, life, and death. They sing expressions on the eternal triangle in human affairs, on the sanctity and divinity of human life at its best and on the glimpse of divine substance in man. Some folk songs project out essentials for the continued survival of the human race. They are, in fact, the spontaneous expressions of the soul of the Garo race.